December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 D EC E M B E R PRINTWEAR | 73 graphics, which is particularly useful when using heat transfers. "Once lasers are positioned in the right place, it makes the job more repeatable, and templates have been developed that al- low an operator to quickly adjust the lasers into the exact position for the job," Rob- inson says. Additionally, interchangeable platens and shuttle presses have helped improve efficiency and productivity. In- terchangeable platens allow the user to switch out platens, which means garments can be preloaded and then attached to the press, eliminating prep work on the ma- chine. Shuttle presses, on the other hand, allow an operator to do different prints on a two-platen machine without individual adjustments. This, Robinson says, makes it easy to cure pretreated garments for digital printing on one platen while post curing the shirt once printed. LOOKING FORWARD So just where can we expect to see technolo- gy in 2015? Regardless of the medium, one thing is consistent: Equipment is moving toward better, more efficient, and produc- tive results, all with assistance of major tech- nological advancements. Modern everyday technology, such as easier user interface, wireless capabilities, and increased mobility, will no doubt continue to play a bigger part of the decorated apparel industry. Greater interaction will also contin- ue to be a key factor in industry growth, both with customers and colleagues. "I've learned most of what I know either by ex- perience or online tutorials and videos," Hill says. He continues, citing an increase of educational videos and tutorials, readi- ly available from manufacturer's websites. Paired with Internet connection that can be delivered directly to the helm of a ma- chine, the coming year can only promise busier and happier bees. pw Modern screen exposing units can now use LED lights, which helps save energy and money as they have a longer life expectancy than traditional bulbs. (Image courtesy Vastex International)

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